It’s the end of an era for conservative parents rattling off reasons to keep their angelic, impressionable children from getting tattoos and piercings. A nearly audible collective sigh can be heard from disillusioned old folks nationwide as employers relax their policies for visible body art, according to a report by Forbes. Evidently 2014 is the golden year for progressive thought on the topic of employers giving a shit about whether someone’s permanent bad decision (I say this as a person with both tattoos and piercings) is visible for customers and coworkers to see. Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and PetSmart are all reconsidering their employee policies on tattoos and piercings.

Great news for people with tattoos, right? Maybe. Forbes reports that there’s still much deliberation around the topic, at least for larger corporations. There’s also a greater ulterior motive at play that goes beyond simply accepting that employees may still be able to do their jobs with visible body art. Retention rates are of interest to companies with high turnover. Forbes reports that up to 60 percent of an employee’s annual salary can be spent on the resources necessary to train them and the human resources man hours invested in documenting health insurance and pay (if you, like me, can’t seem to wrap your head around how that’s possible, you can read the study here). So basically, companies are trying to find the sweet spot between holding on to their employees and holding on to their customers.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume most employers who mind body art probably have some other ludicrous employee stipulations. But hey, let’s hear a slow clap for the crotchety old fogies who’re bending backwards to make us all a little more comfortable.

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